Fidelity to the Word
Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper


A blog dedicated to Christ Jesus our Lord and His True Presence in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist


Graciously grant to us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the spirit to think and do always such things as be rightful: that we, who cannot exist without Thee, may be enabled to live according to Thy will.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Lord of All Hopefulness

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Through the Blood of Christ

I. Through the blood of Christ the New Testament was confirmed. This chalice is the new testament in my blood (I Cor. xi. 25). Testament has a double meaning.
(i) It may mean any kind of agreement or pact.  Now God has twice made an agreement with mankind. In one pact God promised man temporal prosperity and deliverance from temporal losses, and this pact is called the Old Testament. In another pact God promised man spiritual blessings and deliverance from spiritual losses, and this is called the New Testament, I will make a new covenant, saith the Lord, with the house of Israel and with the house of ]uda : not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt : but this shall be the covenant : I will give my law in their bosoms and I will write it in their hearts and I will be their God and they shall be my people (]er. xxxi. 31-33).
Among the ancients it was customary to pour out the blood of some victim in confirmation of a pact. This Moses did when, taking the blood, he sprinkled it upon the people and he said, This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you (Exod. xxiv. 8). As the Old Testament or pact was thus confirmed in the figurative blood of oxen, so the New Testament or pact was confirmed in the blood of Christ, shed during his Passion.
(ii) Testament has another more restricted meaning when it signifies the arrangement of an inheritance among the different heirs, i.e., a will.  Testaments, in this sense, are only confirmed by the death of the testator. As St. Paul says, For a testament is of force, after men are dead: otherwise it is as yet of no strength, whilst the testator liveth (Heb. ix. 17). God, in the beginning, made an arrangement of the eternal inheritance we were to receive, but under the figure of temporal goods. This is the Old Testament. But afterwards He made the New Testament, explicitly promising the eternal inheritance, which indeed was confirmed by the blood of the death of Christ. And therefore, Our Lord, speaking of this, says, This chalice is the new testament in my blood (I Cor. xi. 25), as though to say, "By that which is contained in this chalice, the new testament, confirmed in the blood of Christ, is commemorated."
(In I Cor. xii.)

2. There are other things which make the blood of Christ precious. It is :
(i) A cleansing of our sins and uncleanness. Jesus Christ hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood (Apoc. i. 5).
(ii) Our redemption, Thou hast redeemed us in Thy blood (ibid. v. 9).
(iii) The peacemaker between us and God and his angels, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth and the things that are in the heavens (Coloss. i. 20).
(iv) A draught of life to all who receive it. Drink ye all of this (Matt. xxvi. 27). That they might drink the purest blood of the grape (Deut. xxxii. 14).
(v) The opening of the gate of heaven. Having therefore brethren, a confidence in the entering into the holies by the blood of Christ (Heb. x. 19), that is to say, a continuous prayer for us to God. For His blood daily cries for us to the Father, as again we are told, You are come to the sprinkling of blood which speaketh better than that of Abel (ibid. xii. 22-24).  The blood of Abel called for punishment. The blood of Christ calls for pardon.
(vi) Deliverance of the saints from hell. Thou also by the blood of thy testament hast sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water.(Zach. ix. n).

(Saint Thomas, Sermon for Passion Sunday.)

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On this feast that commemorates the shedding of our Lord's Blood at Calvary, may He forgive the sins that led to so great a sacrifice.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thanks Be to You, O Lord

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Sunday, June 04, 2017

Veni Sancte Spiritus (Pentecost Sequence)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Prayer for the Evening Hour

Abide with us, O Lord, for it is toward evening and the day is far spent; abide with us, and with Thy whole Church. Abide with us in the evening of the day, in the evening of life, in the evening of the world. Abide with us in Thy grace and mercy, in holy Word and Sacrament, in Thy comfort and Thy blessing. Abide with us in the night of distress and fear, in the night of doubt and temptation, in the night of bitter death, when these shall overtake us. Abide with us and all Thy faithful ones, O Lord, in time and in eternity.

(from the Lutheran Manual of Prayer)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

The Lord is risen; the saints see Him and rejoice. May He give you endurance to follow Him beyond all sorrows to goodness and perfection in the Love of the Holy Trinity.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Fragments

(Passing thoughts on two verses from this evening's Gospel)...

12 And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost.
13 They gathered up therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten.

Hearing these words, and somewhat neglecting their context, I thought: What is left over is not neglected or worthless in God's eyes. [Here I was thinking of stubborn pockets of faith in an unbelieving world, or flashes of goodness in a mostly wasted life.] He sends His workers to collect the goodness that remains, and when their work is done, they have found richness and abundance that one might not have expected. Then, when typing this, it also occurred to me that just as care was taken with the multiplied loaves, which were a type of the Eucharist, so we should also show exceeding care to not lose the smallest fragment of the true bread of heaven, which we receive in Holy Communion.

Unsurprisingly, the saints have a different take on this passage. Saint Thomas in the Catena Aurea, following Saint Augustine and looking at the larger picture, considers the leftover food to symbolize the Divine teachings which the multitude cannot take in immediately, which are entrusted to the Church (the 12 apostles) to distribute later.

For Saint John Chrysostom, the fragments serve to show that the multiplication was not an illusion, that the people were fed from the loaves mentioned, that Jesus created exactly the amount He willed, foreseeing how much would be consumed and how much would be left over.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Prayer for Confirmation Candidates

Father in Heaven, pour out Thy Spirit upon Thy confirmandi, to instruct and to guide them, to strengthen them against the temptations of this world and to instill in them a lasting hope for the next. Through Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God through the ages of ages.

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